We are getting an increasing level of enquiries from people keen to sell their businesses.
Happily, we also get many more enquiries from people looking to own and run a business.
Often these are individuals from a large company background who have left with a decent redundancy cheque, a bit of a hole in the pension scheme and who are looking for new challenges.
Add to this the number of people looking for a stake in maybe two or three businesses and there is a large and growing pool of money looking for the right early stage business.
I think we will look back in, say, ten years time and the data will show a recycling of executives form bigger mature businesses into early stage businesses.
But what about the returns from these early stage businesses and how will these new virgin angels fare in such businesses?
Conventional wisdom from the venture capitalists, many of whom were big investors in this sector before the collapse in the equity markets in 2000, is that returns are hard to predict. In fact most of these venture capitalists will only now look at deals in bigger companies and don't want to know about the early stage market.
So on the one hand the professionals (the venture capitalists) are staying out of the early stage market yet the level of interest from others, perhaps with less experience, is growing.
One reason is to do with decision making.
If you go to raise money from, say, a venture capital company or a bank for that matter, they have a set corporate policy. The executives follow the policy (more or less) and have to justify investments to a credit committee of usually more senior executives.
In this environment a premium is placed on objective verifiable evidence, for example market studies and management's recent financial performance.
Yet this is just the evidence that is missing in early stage businesses because they are early stage.
So in the early stage sector, personal judgement - plus an ability to form a view on the qualities of the entrepreneur - are the decision making tools of the private investor.
People who have a few grey hairs and who have the experience to judge people have the advantage when it comes to decision making.
As more executives are recycled into the early stage market we will see a change in the overall commercial returns from this sector.
This change is, in fact, underway at the moment.
Historically the fantastic returns obtained on the winners, when combined with the inevitable failures, increases the risks of investing in this sector.
However, I think the level of failures will decline and overall performance will improve.
It might also be a double whammy as regards investor preferences, as I am sure we have not seen the last of the spectacular failures on the main market.